Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal, is reportedly taking a “few weeks” off for paternity leave after the birth of his second child, a move that drew cheers from other fathers as a positive step towards normalizing men taking time off for childcare.
The 37-year-old became CEO of the company in November when its co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down.
Agrawal’s leave was announced last week but it wasn’t immediately clear when it’s scheduled to begin. Twitter did not immediately respond to the Guardian’s request for further information.
“At Twitter, we encourage and fully support employees taking parental leave in whatever way works best for each person,” Laura Yagerman, the company’s head of corporate communications, told the Washington Post.
She added that the decision was “personal” and that the company had designed a program that is “customizable” and can include up to 20 weeks of “flexible” leave.
Agrawal’s decision is being lauded by other fathers and co-workers.
“Thank you @paraga for leading by example and taking paternity leave,” tweeted Ned Segal, Twitter’s chief financial officer. “I wish leaders did this when I was early in my career and becoming a father.”
“Proud that Twitter and our CEO Parag Agrawal are leading the way here, ensuring ALL parents are able to take advantage of this most special time for their families,” Brenden Lee, of Twitter’s corporate communications department, wrote in a post on LinkedIn.
Lee’s post drew comments from other fathers cheering Agrawal on. “Kudos to him for leading by example. I remember the guilt I felt when I took a week off following the births our daughters (who are now 7 and 9),” Jimmy Moock, a partner at a PR firm in Philadelphia, commented on Lee’s post.
Agrawal’s decision is by no means the norm, with most American men taking less than 10 days off the job, according to the Department of Labor, despite the benefits for both parents and children. But it is another step in a path being paved by other tech leaders, including Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Pete Buttigieg, the US transportation secretary, also took paternity leave last fall when he and his husband welcomed their children. He faced a backlash for doing so and addressed it by saying America had a lot of “catching up” to do on the issue.
The US ranks among the least generous countries in the world when it comes to paid paternity and maternity leave. While some cities and states have mandates for paid parental leave, there is no paid leave plan for mothers and fathers at a federal level.
Read More: Twitter CEO’s weeks-long paternity leave hailed by fellow dads |